Irrigation systems are complex, expensive, and extremely critical for crop development this time of year. Monitoring and controlling these systems just got easier with technology from a company in Bloomington, IN. Edward DeSalle with Net Irrigate says their app called WireRat® lets growers control their center pivots right from their Smartphones, “With that app you can get notifications about your system and its operation.” He said both farmers and dealers find this feature extremely helpful in monitoring the status and operation of their pivots.
Not only will the system notify growers if there is a problem, it gives them remote control over their entire system, “One of the things most farmers want to monitor is how is their system running. We can show them if the system is operating and even what their flow rate is.” In addition, DeSalle told HAT that the app can show exactly where the pivot is in a field, “We have a map that will show the direction the pivot is pointing and what area of the field is being covered.” He added this kind of real time information is very important during the critical pollination period.
The technology can also prevent copper thieves from vandalizing the system. Julie Stark with Net Irrigate says there have been more than 30 arrests already this year because of the system, “Pivot irrigation systems have become a target of these burglars. They will vandalize a system to get a few hundred dollars worth of copper wire, but the damage will cost the farmer tens of thousands of dollars in damage.” A vandalized system can also cause crop damage and reduced yields. She said the monitoring will work even when the irrigation system is shut down.
Net Irrigate, LLC was founded in 2005 in Southern Indiana. The first business plan was hatched by two students who were pursuing their MBA degree fulltime at the Indiana University Kelley School of Business. Their respective backgrounds in agriculture, finance, software, and industrial automation led to the creation of technology which addresses the environmental, political, social, and economic issues related to rising farming costs and diminishing water resources. The company was recently featured at a Verizon Wireless conference on wireless communication and machine-to-machine communication.